T-Bucket Engine Disassembly in Dave Melling’s Project: Part 15

In building a T-Bucket on a budget, the only way to go is with an inexpensive donor engine that, hopefully, is in good running condition and not leaking fluids. Unfortunately, in Dave Melling‘s case the Rover (Buick) aluminum V8 he got for almost nothing with his donor car buy was a little worse for wear. Dave nicely documented his T-Bucket engine disassembly and no matter what engine you choose you’re likely to find some common issues and hints in this installment.

In the following series of photos, the engine is stripped down to reveal some of the underlying construction.

T-Bucket engine disassembly

In this photo, the valve train covers have been removed to show the rocker shafts and splash shields, thoroughly covered in baked-on oil deposits. This photo also shows the pipes which run under the manifold to take hot water to the heater and back again.

T-Bucket engine disassembly

The photo above shows the engine minus the alternator and some of the rubber hoses. Because of the vast amount of oil which covers everything, there is not a lot else to be seen!

T-Bucket engine disassembly

This photo shows the engine minus the inlet [intake] manifold.

T-Bucket engine disassembly

The following photos were taken to try and get some idea about whether or not it would be possible to cut down the oil pickup pipe and thereby raise the sump [of the oil pan].

T-Bucket engine disassembly

Ground clearance for the sump is only a few inches when the engine is installed, and it may be necessary to raise the sump if I find it keeps running aground when the car is driven. At best, about two inches could be gained by doing this.

T-Bucket engine disassembly

In the above T-Bucket engine disassembly photo the cylinder heads have been removed, along with the oil filter, water pump and the sump pan.

T-Bucket engine disassembly

Here we see the engine block cleaned up and ready for spraying.

T-Bucket engine disassembly

All of the old core plugs have been removed, the block cleaned, and then the core plugs were replaced, which you’ll want to do in any T-Bucket engine disassembly and rebuild.

T-Bucket engine disassembly

Great care was taken when putting in the new core plugs, especially those that would be hidden from view once the engine was fully assembled. Some of the more difficult core plugs, in the oil galleries for instance, had to be drilled out and the threads restored.

T-Bucket engine disassembly

This photo also shows the crankshaft and the sump.

T-Bucket engine disassembly

The engine block itself, being aluminum, is easily picked up with one hand because it is so light.

T-Bucket engine disassembly

The block being used is one of two that I had, this one having the least amount of wear in the bores (0.003″).

So much for the T-Bucket engine disassembly. In our next installments we’ll get into Dave’s beautification and rebuilding of the engine.

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